St. Johns County

Citizens for a New Tree Ordinance

Citizens for a New Tree Ordinance © 2013

     Citz4Trees has: 

  • Participated as stakeholders along with the North East Florida Builders Council at four meetings with county staff on our proposed amendments to the Land Development Code (LDC) to preserve trees.  
  • Met individually with all County Commissioners.

​   Citz4Trees proposals:

  • Tree canopy  Require 15 percent to be saved. 
  • Remove the 6 inch fill exception!  All trees are considered dead if 6 inches or greater of fill is put on a site.  This allows all the clear cutting, fill and grading.  

  • Non-permitted tree removal penalty to be the highest amount allowed under state law.  
  • ​Establish a Tree board similar to those in the City of St. Augustine and the City of St. Augustine Beach to review tree removals. 
  • Specimen Tree Definition Revisions: changes to size and species designated as specimen trees.  (Keeping in mind current rules allow them to be cut down with 6 inches of fill or with nominal payments to a "mitigation" fund.) 

County staff draft proposals (as of the May 7, 2019 Board of County Commissioners Meeting: 

 1. The ability for developers to designate an OPTIONAL “Tree Preservation Tract” of at least 20% upland on their property in exchange for DOUBLE the density of that preservation tract to be added on to their remaining developable area. 

     At first the preservation tract was required to be in addition to any pre-existing open space requirements in the LDC. Then the staff changed it to allow open space areas that were already required by the LDC to count toward that preservation tract…so basically developers get a density bonus for lumping open spaces that they were already required to preserve in the current land development code.   

2.  Minor changes to the size of certain tree species that would still allow them to be cut down but would require larger payments to the "tree mitigation fund".